Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
Says who? Okay, Carl Sandberg – but what, if anything, does this mean?
I dislike the phoney authority of gnomic sayings like this. One of my least favourites is, Death is only a horizon and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. Give me proof that death is only a horizon, please, if you want me to take this smug utterance seriously. Equally valid:
Death is only a dessert, and a dessert is nothing save the end of the meal.
Death is only a clown, and a clown is nothing save an act at the circus.
Death is only a holiday, and a holiday is nothing save a break from normal life.
Wow! Did we get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?
Peter, there may be something in what you say. I wrote that at the end of a bothersome day :o)
Btw, I feel the same about the example you give, Lexi.
Death is only…? No, it isn’t an only anything. Feh!
I like the image conjured in my mind, and the quote captures the subtlety of poetry nicely, the way the experience of reading it turns as much on connotation and memory as it does on word and image.
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